Just fitting the Flux Capacitor into the DeLorian

Well, that’s it we are on our way! Where to you ask? Back, back to the future, where things were and will be again, rosy and wonderful. Back to the future of the good old days.

video here

Yes, the vote was decisive and we are about to set off into the future on a journey to the past. I’ve been told by those who know these things that things were great in good old Britain before we went into the E.U. Food was cheap, beer tasted better and we were living the life of Reilly.

Mind you that’s not quite how I remember it. I remember a post war Britain where rationing still determined what you could eat. I can still remember the day I was able to go into the shop at the end of the street and buy sweets without my mother bringing her ration book.

I remember a selective schooling system where only the few could get a full secondary education. I remember my dad going to work onChristmas day because it was not a holiday. I remeber people could be forced to work long hours for low pay. I remember when people died of industrial diseases and accidents at work.

So I’m going off to revisit the past now that we can dispense with these pesky E.U. directives. Just as soon as I can hook up my Flux Capacitor into my DeLorian and get it up to 88 miles per hour I’ll be back in a flash. By the way, anybody know where my nearest Plutonium retailer is?

You, on the other hand, will just have to wait till the negotiations have completed and we get out again – back to the future of the past.

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The Film That Defines America

Film Poster

More than a great comedy

I was recently watching a rerun of the great Blake Edwards comedy classic, “The Great Race”, starring Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood or Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis, depending on your outlook. This is a film that I have loved from the first viewing, despite poor reviews from critics.

This film is a great comedy, especially so for film buffs as it takes the mickey out of so many classic scenes. What I have only recently come to realise is that the film is the only cinematic production that defines the USA that I love. You might wonder why I think that, I’ll tell you why.

The film encapsulates the schizophrenia that underlies America. Shocked? No, let me explain. The hero is The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis), a clean cut (always spotlessly white) American hero who dares to challenge nature and overcome at every attempt. The anti – hero is Professor Fate (Jack Lemon), always dressed in black, secretive and produces outrageous devices which invariably land him in the Sh*t, literally.

These two characters represent the two faces of America. Leslie is the American hero who we (I ) have grown up with, good, clean and always successful. Fate is an out and out bad guy. Who is the real America? I have always rooted for Leslie. He is the good guy.

Fate is the bad guy who doesn’t play by the rules and produces strange devices, unlike Leslie who uses solid American vehicles. But, and for me this is a big but, it’s not really as simple as that. I realised that America does not always play by the rules. It is not always open and honest. In fact America is most proud of its ‘black ops’, undercover agents who don’t officially exist. Not everything in America is whiter than snow. The Space Shuttle was white alright but its really advanced craft was the SR71 Blackbird. It was black and it was secret.

Like Professor Fate’s devices the Blackbird was flawed. It leaked fuel when on the ground but operationally it was a great success. Fate produced flying machines, bomb sights, rocket propelled craft, homing torpedoes and a car the US Army would have gladly gone to war in. He was an innovator where Leslie chose a balloon and a factory built car.

Fate was the man the CIA would have turned to when they needed something. They wouldn’t let Leslie near Langley. I think professor Fate was the real American hero. He was an innovator. He never gave up when things went wrong. Every time he was blown up or got a pie in the face he came back for more. Leslie never got dirty.

Actually, In the end, it was Fate who won the race. He’s my man.

The 100 Year Old Man Must be Watched

“The Hunderd Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared” is a film of the book by Jonas Jonasson. It concerns a man who decides to skip the birthday party being organised in hs old folk’s home and go off on an adventure.

The may seem implausible and the outcome unlikely but I laughed. You will laugh too and cheer on the old fellow. Director Felix Herngren and the cast Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander and  David Wiberg have made a memorable film. It might help you to change your outlook on life and open up new possibilities.

I don’t want to go into detail to spoil the film for you but suffice it to say that tomorrow morning might just see a man climbing out of the window of this house. I may not be around for a while.

If you don’t believe me have a look at the trailer here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SEiaODjTZw

 

Utopia – John Pilger – Review

Have you seen this film?

Have you seen this film?

I watched John Pilger’s film ‘Utopia’ at the Glasgow Film Theatre last Monday. It was a shocking experience. Pilger exposes the latent racism that lies behind Australia’s facade of forward looking western values.

John Pilger

John Pilger

In it he shows examples of systematic abuse of the remaining aborigine residents of this bright country. He uncovers government lies and propaganda that hide the squalid living conditions endured by these people amid claims that everythung is being done to help them.

He quotes Australians who claim that if the same treatment had been dealt out by the white South African Government’s Apartheid regime then the world would have cried out in horror. But in Australia this treatment is ignored and the world does nothing. Is Australia the new Apartheid?

Watch this film and wonder.

The Nun – A story from the Past with a Message for Today

Last night I went along to the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) to see Guillaume Nicloux’s film about a girl in the 18th century who finds herself in a convent and doesn’t want to be there. The film documents her struggles against her family, abusive Mother Superiors and the Church in order to regain control of her life.

The Nun

The Nun

The film uses the symbolism of the Christian message in telling the story. It begins in darkness and ends in daylight. It is concerned with sin; the sins of the parents visited on the children. It concerns victimisation and abuse. It is about life, death and resurrection.

The film is, of course, about women and the cast is largely female. It questions the place of women in society in the 18th Century and causes us to reflect on the situation of women in our society today. There are few men in the film but they play crucial roles. The abuses are carried out by women. The men have a more positive role.

It is also a film about the nature of authority and control. In 18th century France the Church, in various forms was Authority. We see examples of the wrong people being put in control and the disastrous results. This led me on to think of the serious problems we are facing today. With the wrong people in control our financial system crashed.

With the wrong people in control we found ourselves fighting wars that should never have been fought. All of this was for ‘good reasons’ that were based on falsehoods. When we lost sight of what we were about we lost our way.

This is a provocative film that puts the audience in an uncomfortable place. I was trembling when I left the cinema and it was not just the cold that caused it. This is a gripping film that puts a spotlight on abuse of women and makes us question attitudes today. The post Saville enquiries that, week by week, reveal celebrity abuse of young women and girls show us that victims were not listened to and their plight was seen as being their place in the pecking order.

Has anything changed? Go and see this film. It will open your eyes to the abuse of women by locking them out of society.

Blue Jasmine – As I Saw It

I went to the GFT last night to see this film. I was enrolled in a Contemporary Film course by my younger daughter who thought I should be exercising the brain cells. I was tired after a long day and a long class.This was not the attitude for cinema visits.

As soon as the film started that all changed. This was Woody Allan at his best. I think it is his best ever. This is a film about all of us and our current situation.

Who do we think we are? Who are we really? What happens to us when we lose the place?

In a society that has lost the place completely, we all need to see this film. The brain cells were jangled into life – and I recognised places in San Fransisco I visited last year.

the cast is superb, and not just Kate Blanchett.

Go and see this. Find the place again. Find out who you really are.